Search YouTube for ‘Kids and Dogs’ and you’ll get over 12 million videos. Of those 12 MILLION videos, it is guaranteed that at a minimum 75% of them are examples of what not to do when you get a kid and a dog together. In fact, take a look at the comments on many of these videos and you’ll see a war raging with those who see a “cute” video insisting that the “holier than thou’s,” “relax.” But are the “holier than thou’s” really deserving of this moniker, or do they actually have a point?
Take the video above as an example. Cute, right? Well, not really. The yellow lab in the first clip? He’s trying to escape the grabby hands of a toddler. That’s not funny, that’s uncomfortable for the dog and a situation that can result in a dog bite. The child in the second clip? There is nothing funny about an infant being clotheslined. How about the dog in the third clip? The one trying to sit on the baby? That’s a dog who is jealous of the new baby. A dog that, if allowed to continue this “funny” behavior, could quite easily smother a child.
The point is that those “holier than thou’s” are educated, not necessarily in canine body language, but in common sense. Sure it’s possible to have a funny dog and kid video, there are plenty out there from parents who are educated enough to know what is safe and what is not (a state of being that is deserved both by the child and the dog,) but sadly, there are far more videos like the one above.
So what’s my point? My point is to ask you not to be one of the pet parents in the video above. Be aware of the safety of a situation AND the comfort of your dog and your child. Not sure how to read your dog’s comfort level? Stay tuned and we’ll teach you what you need to know. In the meantime, just don’t be an idiot.